In my last post on Mukesh and his ‘dil’ songs, there was a song, Ae jaan-e-jigar dil mein samane aa ja. Urdu poetry gives the same status to jigar as to dil as a metaphor for something very vital and very dear. There are also other examples of ‘dil’ and ‘jigar’ being used together and interchangeably, such as Tumse achha kaun hai, dil-o-jigar lo jaan lo or a later one Dard-e-dil dard-e-jigar dil mein jagaya aapne. If long back Rafi sang Ek dil ke tukde hazar hue koi yahan gira koi wahan gira, a maverick politician, Mahamaya Prasad Singh came as tsunami in the mid-60’s in Bihar, riding the wave of student unrest and describing them as his Jigar ke tukde. His opening words in his public meetings, Mere jigar ke tukde, generated a hysteria Indian electoral politics had not seen before. That his short-lived rein unleashed student lawlessness and collapse of Bihar’s education system is another story. (An idea for Mr. Ashok Vaishnav’s blog – ‘Role of emotive slogans in politics: Quit India, Jigar Ke Tukde, Gharibi Hatao, Bhrashtachar Mitao, Down with Zionists’?)
Coming back to Jigar and Dil, I remember Subodh Agrawal once wondered in one of his comments how a part of anatomy like liver can have poetic uses. Well, if you think of it, Wikipedia defines the heart as a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system (including all vertebrates), which pumps blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions. Does not sound too romantic to me. Yet heart has universal association with emotions and feelings. Then why not liver (jigar)? It is for linguists to research why only Urdu has taken to jigar with so much passion.
One of the most famous Urdu poets of the twentieth century was Jigar Moradabadi (real name Ali Sikandar). I do not recall anyone with Dil name of the same stature. With jigar having such an important place in Urdu poetry, why is it that compiling a list of jigar songs is somewhat difficult whereas you can reel off dozens of dil songs of all the great singers? I guess it has to do with the structure of ghazal. With its rigid rules for meter, radeef and kaafiya, it is easier for the two-syllable dil to fit in any combination than for the three-syllable jigar. This made my task of doing this post more challenging. Yet when I finally completed my selection it was immensely satisfying, because the jigar songs are no less appealing than dil songs.
Here are some of my favourite jigar songs.
1. Tune haye mere zakhm-e-jigar ko chhoo liya by Lata Mangeshkar from Nagina (1951), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
Nagina was one of Nutan’s earliest films. There is an interesting trivia about this film. Given Adult certificate because of its spooky theme, its heroine Nutan, who was only 15, was not allowed by the usher to enter the hall on its premier till the film’s producer noticed her and let her in.
2. Chandni raatein by Noorjehan from Dopatta (1952), lyrics Mushir Kazmi, music Firoz Nizami
Ek tees (टीस) jigar mein uthti hai ek dard sa dil mein hota hai recites Malika-e-tarannum, before she reaches the refrain Chandni raatein. Jigar and dil again used synonymously. Firoz Nizami was the composer who composed for her last film in India, Jugnu (1947), with everlasting songs Yahan badla wafa ka bewafai ke siwa kya hai and Humein to kaatni hai sham-e-gham mein zindagi apni. He was among those who migrated to Pakistan. Dopatta was a major landmark in her career in Pakistan period, and Chandni raatein is one of her most famous songs.
3. Jaane na nazar pahchane jigar by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar from Aah (1953), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Shankar Jaikishan
Aah also had another Mukesh-Lata Mangeshkar duet, Aa ja re ab mera dil pukara? An example of ‘dil’ and ‘jigar’ occurring in tandem.
4. Dard-e-jigar thahar zara dum to mujhe lene de by Lata Mangeshkar from Aurat (1953), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
SJ’s songs outside RK-camp had a different charm. Beautiful thought – asking the dard-e-jigar to wait for a while till the lady regains her breath.
5. Jo khushi se chot khaye wo jigar kahan se laun by Talat Mahmood from Dile-Nadan (1953), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ghulam Mohammad
Who can sing of a hurt jigar better than Talat Mahmood?
6. Ae dard-e-jigar fariyad na kar by Lata Mangeshkar from Bahu (1955), lyrics SH Bihari, music Hemant Kumar
Chhupa le dagh-e-jigar dagh-e-dil zamane se – Romance with both ‘dil’ and ‘jigar’ continues with equal fervor. So Hemant Kumar could also compose an outstanding ghazal!
7. Ashq ankhon se rawan aur jigar jalta hai by Hemant Kumar, non-film song
Now a real surprise. Hemant Kumar could not only compose a ghazal, he could also sing one! His non-film geets such as Anchal se kyun baandh liya mujh pardesi ka pyar were extremely popular. One does not associate him with Urdu ghazals. For Hemant Kumar lovers, this ghazal in Talat Mahmood style is a treat.
8. Tumse achha kaun hai, dil-o-jigar lo jaan lo by Mohammad Rafi from Janwar (1965), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music, Shankar Jaikishan
If Shammi Kapoor sings of dil-o-jigar, you can bet he would do some crazy things, like jumping in the lake in a blanket.
9. Jigar ka dard badhta ja raha hai by Rafi and Sharda from Street Singer (1966), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Suraj
Picturised on Chandrashekhar and Sarita. The comment on YouTube mentions that the music director Suraj was the pseudonym for Shankar (of Shankar Jaikishan duo), who did not want to use his real name as he wanted to test the waters for Sharda. I have read somewhere that Shankar’s fascination for Sharda was one of the reasons for the break-up of S-J duo.
10. Jigar mein dard kaisa is ko to ulfat nahi kahte by Mahendra Kapoor and Kamal Barot from Apna Ghar Apni Kahani (1968), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music N Dutta
This picture was earlier named as Pyas and later renamed as Apna Ghar Apni Kahani. Picturised on Sudhir, whom we know better as Jaichand (the Man Friday of Davar, Iftekhar) of Deewaar, this is an extremely sweet duet of Mahendra Kapoor-Kamal Barot. A hidden gem, it would be a treat to music lovers.